Prof. Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, has cautioned that 148 local government areas across 31 states are among the highly probable flood-risk areas for 2024.

Utsev issued this warning during the official unveiling of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) on Monday in Abuja.

The theme of this year’s AFO is “Promoting the Use of Data Analytics and Modeling for Flood Risk Assessments and Food Security.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) leads AFO yearly predictions.

The identified states are: Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Kogi.

Others are: Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe.

Utsev emphasised the importance of proactive measures to mitigate potential flood impacts in these areas.

He said there was need for preparedness, early warning systems, and community engagement to minimise damage to lives and property.

The minister said that the high flood risk areas spanned from April to November 2024; with potential impacts on population, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure, and the environment.

Earlier, Prof. Charles Anosike, Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), said the partnership between NIHSA and his organization was pivotal in enhancing the nation’s disaster preparedness.

Zubaida Umar, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), stressed the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of flooding across the country.

On his part, Clement Nze, NIHSA Director-General, stressed the essential role of encouraging collaboration among disaster risk managers, earth observers, mission makers, and other stakeholders to enhance preparedness and flood control measures. (NAN)